By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, February 12, 1990:
Mandela’s release after 27-years’ imprisonment symbolizes the inextinguishable human spirit and struggle for freedom, justice and equality world-wide
Never before has the release from jail of a person as Nelson Mandela set off such a world-wide reveberrations of shared joy and rejoicing as it symbolized the inextinguishable human spirit and struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of a freedom fighter who despite 27 years of incarceration, never succumbed to the forces of repression or compromised the fight of black South Africans for freedom and human dignity in their homeland.
It marks a major milestone in the struggle for human rights throughout the world, as the joy and rejoicing throughout the world at Nelson Mandela’s freedom is full testimony that the aspiration for human rights is a universal aspiration, which cannot be confined by national boundaries or geographical regions.
The freedom of Nelson Mandela is the freedom of all human beings, and the triumph of Man against the Forces of Oppression.
Nelson Mandela’s freedom is celebrated not only by the black South Africans, but by all human beings in all countries who cherish freedom and human dignity for all humanity.
Mandela’s first public address to some 50,000 people in Cape Town since he was jailed in 1962 deserves reflection not only by South Africans, but by all freedom-loving people throughout the world, particularly when he called for an immediate end to the State of Emergency in South Africa and the release of all political prisoners, and said:
“There must be an end to white monopoly on political power and a fundamental restructuring of our economic and political system.
“We have waited for too long for our freedom. Now is the time to intensify the struggle. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come would not be able to forgive.”
Let Malaysians celebrate the release of Nelson Mandela by also giving serious thought to the urgent need to create the conditions for the flowering of the human spirit in freedom and human dignity, and in particular by our own dismantling the structures which deny Malaysians their human rights, and in particular by the ending of the four Proclamations of Emergency in Malaysia, the release of all political detainees, and the abolition of the Internal Security Act.